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Lung Cancer. 2011 Nov;74(2):326-31. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.02.016. Epub 2011 Apr 9.

Combined VEGF-A and VEGFR-2 concentrations in plasma: diagnostic and prognostic implications in patients with advanced NSCLC.

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Molecular Oncology Laboratory, Fundación para la Investigación del Hospital General Universitario, Valencia, Spain.



The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of ligands and receptors (VEGFR) play an important role in tumor angiogenesis. Increased expression of angiogenic factors in tumors or in blood is associated with poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of VEGF-A and soluble VEGFR-2 (sVEGFR-2) as biomarkers in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


We studied 432 patients with advanced NSCLC (stages IIIB-IV) treated with cisplatin and docetaxel and 89 healthy age-matched controls. Blood samples were collected before chemotherapy, and VEGF-A and sVEGFR-2 levels were determined by ELISA.


VEGF-A and sVEGFR-2 levels were higher in NSCLC patients than in the controls, but VEGF-A behaves as a better diagnostic biomarker. There were no significant associations between VEGF-A and sVEGFR-2 concentrations and clinical characteristics, such as ECOG-PS, gender, stage, histology, metastases, and treatment response. A patient subgroup characterized by a combination of high VEGF-A and low sVEGFR-2 levels exhibited the worst patient prognoses in terms of TTP and OS.


VEGF-A and sVEGFR-2 levels were significantly higher in patients than in the controls. A combination of VEGF-A and sVEGFR-2 can be used as an independent prognostic biomarker in advanced NSCLC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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